Thursday, December 04, 2008

Abortion deaths in 1985

The Centers for Disease Control deigned to count the following abortion deaths in their most recent Abortion Surveillance Summary, for 2004:

Today I'll look at deaths in 1985. They count 11 legal, 1 illegal, and 1 "unknown". Keep in mind that an "illegal" death, by the CDC's definitions, can seem like a safe and legal abortion to the woman in question. If the doctor's license has been suspended or revoked but he keeps working at an apparently legal clinic anyway, the CDC counts the woman's death as illegal because it wasn't performed by somebody legally permitted to perform abortions in that state. Myrta Baptiste is an example of this trick to disguise the deaths from legalized abortion.

That said, we can look at the deaths I know of. I have 11 deaths:

  • Mary Bradley was one of two women who died under the dubious care of abortionist George Wayne Patterson, treated as a martyr by the abortion lobby because he was gunned down outside a porn theater in an apparent gangland slaying.

  • Joan Camp is the death classified as "unknown" by the CDC because it could not be determined who performed the fatal abortion.

  • Josephina Garcia wasn't counted as an abortion death by the CDC because her abortionist let her die by failing to diagnose her ectopic pregnancy. The CDC refuses to place the blame for these deaths on abortionists, even slovenly abortionists like Family Planning Associates Medical Group, the chain of seedy NAF-affiliated abortion mills that killed Josephina and at least 11 other young women.

  • Kathleen Gilbert bled to death from a punctured uterus.

  • Gaylene Golden died of an embolism caused by a tear in her uterus.

  • Arnetta Hardaway hemorrhaged and developed infection that killed her after her safe, legal abortion.

  • Deborah Lozinski went into a fatal coma after her abortion.

  • Yvonne Mesteth was the second of two women to die of septic, incomplete abortions performed by erstwhile criminal abortionist Benjamin Munson.

  • Yvette Poteat was also not counted by the CDC because she died when her abortionist failed to diagnose her ectopic pregnancy.

  • Deanna Bell was only 13 years old when she was left unattended to lapse into a fatal coma at a National Abortion Federation member facility.

  • Ellen Williams returned to the abortion clinic, seeking care for raging peritonitis after her abortion; they gave her tea and sympathy and a bottle of oral antibiotics.

    For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

    For more abortion deaths broken down by year, see this post.

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    Anonymous said...


    I just went to see Dirty Dancing the show last night and wondered what your thoughts about it were - I hadn't seen the movie in a long time and didn't realise there was an illegal abortion in it.

    Seems like a good topic for a blog.

    Many Thanks

    Christina Dunigan said...

    I thought it was appalling.

    One message was "If you want to be taken seriously as an adult, you need to participate in arranging an abortion."

    And then, after seeing his first dance partner nearly die from a botched abortion, Patrick Swayze's character screws Jennifer Grey's character -- as a demonstration of his "love" for her. He deliberately puts her in danger of the same nightmare the first girl had undergone, in the name of "love"?

    It was all glamorizing illicit sex and abortion as if they were tokens of maturity, instead of realistically showing that the truly mature can control themselves and only unleash a force of nature as powerful as sex when they're in a position to cope with the consequences.

    After all, engaging in sex when you're in no position to cope with an infant is like swimming on a beach with strong rip tides when you know you're a lousy swimmer. You're asking for trouble. That's stupidity and foolhardiness, not maturity.

    Anonymous said...

    Gosh, I never saw it like that- and neither did the hordes of women who regressed with me to our teenagehood and swooned to the Patrick Swayze charachter. But you have a really good point.

    Were there no condoms in the sixties - how did they do birthcontrol - I'll have a google.

    I don't know how old you are but I'm 35 and alas my prince is still hiding from me so although I would have loved the situation where we were each others first and only lovers - if I was still a virgin at 35 - there would be a serious problem. And yet at 35 and single I would still be unable to cope with an infant.


    Christina Dunigan said...

    Lilliput, condoms have been around for a long, long time!

    Christina Dunigan said...

    And didn't you notice how contemptuously all the characters treated "Baby", sneering at her that she was just a kid and couldn't understand real world problems -- until she proved her maturity and entered their "adult" word by conning her father out of money to pay for the dancer's illegal abortion. This won their admiration and was treated as her first step into the mature, realistic, adult world.

    Anonymous said...

    This forum was helpful:

    The way I saw it was that Baby was very idealistic and wanted to save the world (join the peacecorps)and even she could see that the dancer could not have the baby - she couldn't even take the time off to have the abortion because their was nobody to replace her to secure their job for the next summer - how would she have supported herself during a pregnancy. She actually got a lot of slack for going to her father and noone really wanted to take his money but their didn't seem to be another alternative.

    Dirty dancing is a coming of age movie and Baby becomes a women by having sex for the first time and by seeing that the idealistic world she inhabited as a child doesn't exist.

    Finally, I'm then assuming that Johnny Castle did in fact wear a condom and protect her. It is a story about first love and they did appear to fall in love didn't they?

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Yeah -- she "comes of age" by participating in an abortion (by lying and deceit) then by getting laid. In other words, she trades her innocence in willingly for the approval of the dancers, and for a roll in the hay with a guy who doesn't love her enough to want to protect her from the nightmare his original partner endured.

    Coming of age stories, well done, will recognize that the world isn't as good as you thought it was, but you find a core of goodness in yourself. In "Dirty Dancing" she figured, "Why bother?" and just became a cynical part of the ugliness and shallowness.

    In an idea coming of age story, the protagonist discovers that it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. In "Dirty Dancing" she snuffs her own candle and joins the others in the dark. Very fashionable but hardly admirable.

    Kathy said...


    I've never seen "Dirty Dancing" so can't comment directly about that movie. Condoms have been around for about four centuries; but of course their level of protection varied (I'm not sure how well oiled sheepskin may have prevented pregnancy or STD transmission).

    I daresay the main form of birth control in the 60s, as in previous generations, was abstinence (despite what "The Kinsey Report" would have you believe). But birth control pills were becoming available and more popular in the 60s.

    You may benefit from a blog called "What Women Never Hear" which seems right up your alley, if you're still waiting for your prince to appear. :-) I got married at 26, nearly 6 years ago, and wish I had read more of that sort of thing in my unmarried days, and find benefit from it now, although many of the posts are written for unmarried women.

    Kathy said...


    I've never seen "Dirty Dancing" so can't comment directly about that movie. Condoms have been around for about four centuries; but of course their level of protection varied (I'm not sure how well oiled sheepskin may have prevented pregnancy or STD transmission).

    I daresay the main form of birth control in the 60s, as in previous generations, was abstinence (despite what "The Kinsey Report" would have you believe). But birth control pills were becoming available and more popular in the 60s.

    You may benefit from a blog called "What Women Never Hear" which seems right up your alley, if you're still waiting for your prince to appear. :-) I got married at 26, nearly 6 years ago, and wish I had read more of that sort of thing in my unmarried days, and find benefit from it now, although many of the posts are written for unmarried women.

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks Kathy

    I look at the blog immediately and I urge you to watch Dirty Dancing so you can tell us what you think.

    Kathy said...

    No, thanks, I think I'll pass. I've seen enough "coming of age" movies to know that it is synonymous with girls giving up their bodies to guys who claim they love them. Or maybe don't even pretend to love them. They really turn me off. I've seen "Mystic Pizza" and "Circle of Friends", and they both had the same kind of thing -- main girl was a virgin who eventually gave away her virginity to a man who was unworthy of her (as proved by his inability or whatever to offer marriage), with two friends -- the slut and the girl who had a steady boyfriend. As some people say of movies, "You've seen one, you've seen them all." If it showed that these girls were growing in maturity (rather than just adding acts which would be seen in "adult" movies), then it would be worth seeing. I don't need to see Patrick Swayze get into Jennifer Grey's pants after "loving" another girl nearly to her death by impregnating her, causing her to seek an abortion.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    Actually, Swayze's character somehow redeemed himself in the girl's father's eyes by informing him that he'd not actually been the one to impregnate the girl who nearly died. THEN he deflowered our heroine.

    The whole thing was morally repugnant.

    Kathy said...

    I just went to to see what the people said about it, and although most of the people rated it highly and very highly, even their praise for the movie makes me want not to see it all the more.

    For instance,
    - Baby lies to her father
    - She lies to get money for an illegal abortion
    - when the illegal abortion is botched, her dad ends up helping the victimized girl, yet he's still the stupid idiot bad guy who hated Johnny (assuming he had knocked up the girl to start with)
    - Baby is underage while Johnny is 20, meaning she's jail-bait and he is guilty of statutory rape in some states
    - even if he was not legally guilty of statutory rape of this young girl, he certainly exposed her to a potential pregnancy which she was not equipped to handle
    - she defies her father's explicit orders to stay away from Johnny. Oh, but you see, it was actually all right because, y'see, the reason stupid old daddy didn't like Johnny was because he thought he'd knocked up his previous dance partner, and since he didn't *actually* impregnate her, there was no *real* reason for him not to like him. Despite the fact that what the father didn't want (his underage daughter to be sexual fodder for this young man, or any young man) was exactly what happened. Oh, Baby didn't get pregnant... but she might have.

    [You may note that I am fairly sensitive to the topic of fathers being portrayed as backward or not knowing best for their families, especially when it comes to their daughters being sexually exploited by those who claim to love them. Let's just say, my sister found out too late that our parents were right when they didn't want her dating her now-ex-husband. I dislike any movie that glamorizes this.]

    Apparently in all of the celebrations about her "maturity" in doing the "wise" and "adult" things like stealing money from her father (which is what it was -- taking it from him on false premises), helping a woman to commit the crime of having an illegal abortion performed on her, engaging in baby-making behavior without requiring marriage first, and sneaking around like a rat behind her father's back -- in all of those celebrations, the sad thing is, she did not make the mature decision to control her own body and make Johnny control his, by declining his advances.

    And one positive reviewer said, "I highly suggest it for any young girl dreaming of what she will become as she grows up."

    Yikes. Oh, yeah, that's a great idea!! (heavy sarcasm warning) Let's show it to all the pubescent and pre-pubescent girls out there, so that they know that real love is defying their fathers to sleep with the bad guy, while they are legally too young to make such a decision. That's being a grown up. And then, if we get pregnant, at least abortion is legal now, so we won't die like back in the bad ol' 60s. We can't possibly have a baby come in and wreck our plans and derail our path to maturity! Why, "dreaming of what we will become as we grow up" doesn't include premarital children, so we'll just kill 'em before they're born and everything will be hunky-dory, as long as we can sleep with Patrick Swayze while we're still jail-bait age. That's just what every girl needs. End sarcasm.

    Anonymous said...

    Wow Kathy - I love your vehemence - but you can't really have that strong an opinion without having seen it for yourself. It isn't fair to you and it may cause you to get into the bad habit of forming opinions based on other people's opinions which isn't a good way to really understand whats going on.

    Now about Dirty Dancing:

    1. Baby was certainly no jailbait - she's 17. I don't know what's legal in the States but here in the UK its 16.

    2. Besides Baby's coming of age the movie was about not judging a book by its cover. Everybody perceived Patrick Swayze as a bad boy who just lived for sleeping around but it wasn't true. If you watch the movie you can tell there is no way they are not deeply in love but for Baby its first love and they both realise that the summer is all they have. (Its a strange sign of the times that the show makes it seem like they do have a happy ever after)Its this intense falling in love feeling which resonates with every women in the world regardless of language and culture. We all have our own Patrick Swayze - the guy who taught us what love is.

    3. There was a real jerk in the movie and that was the medical student waiter who lied his way into everyone's pants without thinking about the consequences - (maybe somebody should have aborted him)

    I do understand your point about woemn giving their virginity up too easily but I also think that men do fall in love. Loving someone in this day and age doesn't necessarily mean you're compatible enough to marry, so you have to love them and set them free - however painful - otherwise you'll be in divorce courts fighting over children and furniture.

    Am I the only Romantic left?

    Kathy said...

    Why, yes, actually, I can have that strong of an opinion without having seen it for myself. In fact, it's better in this instance to form an opinion based on the cold facts of the case, rather than the warm-n-fuzzy side the movie portrays. Remember that what I based my opinion on was people's reviews of the movie who by and large **loved** it. There were a few who said things like this movie sucks, I can't believe I sat through it, the writing was horrible, the acting was wooden, etc., etc. Not one review that I read had anything negative to say about the morals portrayed in it. But make no mistake -- there were morals portrayed in it, and it was more than "don't judge a book by its cover." If I came to the wrong conclusion about the facts of the movie (that Baby lied, sneaked around, helped arrange an illicit abortion by obtaining money fraudulently, and gave her body to a man who wouldn't treasure that gift), feel free to correct me. It seems that what you're saying is, "Well, yes, that happened, but you really need to see the movie to show that it's portrayed in a much better light." I have no doubt that it *is* portrayed in a much better light. These things usually are. It's a love story -- they don't show the negatives, only the positives. I see the negatives more clearly because I have not seen the movie.

    You and I perceive "love" somewhat differently, I suspect. I don't doubt that Baby and Johnny are "deeply in love" as you see it. It's just that I don't count mere emotions as being an evidence of love, although I am extremely emotionally attached to my husband. Love is action -- and not the act of having sex. If Johnny truly loved Baby, he would have chosen what was best for her, rather than what came naturally to him. Any animal can copulate; it takes a real man to control those baser urges for the benefit of the person or people he loves. Your statement that "the summer is all they have" shows that there was no long-term commitment involved, and it is long-term commitment that is the true hallmark of love. The fact that they don't "have a happy ever after" demonstrates to me even more clearly that this was not, in fact, love. Lust in overdrive, perhaps, but not love.

    Real love is making marriage work despite the hard times and the obstacles. Lust doesn't last. Love does. Not just of its own accord -- not because it is this magical "true love" that appears in the movies -- but because of the work involved in making love last. Love is action -- putting someone else ahead of yourself, choosing their benefit instead of your own, making the choice (many times very hard decisions) to do the right thing.

    Johnny did not love Baby, although I don't doubt he had strong feelings for her. You pegged it when you said, "It's this intense falling in love feeling." All feelings and emotions -- just fluff without any solid base underneath it to continue to support it. It's castles in the clouds -- light, ethereal, beautiful, and ultimately untenable.

    You're not the only romantic left. When I met my husband, I fell hard for him, because he was very attractive and charming and seemed exactly suited for me. It took him some years to realize the same thing about me. And you know what? The feelings have not lasted, as they were in that first meeting. Day-to-day life has worn away some of those feelings. Yet our love -- the foundation underneath those feelings -- has remained. While the feelings ebb and flow (when I'm mad at my husband, I sure have strong feelings, but it's not the "twitterpated" feelings of "love" that I had at our first meeting), love remains. Even when I'm mad at my husband, I can still do nice things for him, although it is much harder without the feelings. But that's what love is. Doing the right thing for another person.

    I like romantic movies as much as the next person. There's a reason they're called "chick flicks" -- because women flock to them. Most of my favorite movies are romantic movies -- While You Were Sleeping, Hitch, Return to Me, and so forth. And I like watching them, and feeling the emotions they raise. It's romantic. But it only shows the "falling in love" not the work of staying in love. It's easy to fall in love. It's wonderfully romantic. But far too many people think that "falling in love" is equal to real love. Then when the initial romantic feelings subside (as they always do), they realize that their relationship was based solely on those feelings, rather than the solid foundation of love, and that is when relationships including marriages fall apart, unless the people can salvage enough of their feelings and start working on building the foundation of good relationships which is love.

    Not romantic, but very practical.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with you completely on the practical side of love - and wait in earnest for my Prince to come. However I also think that there is a space for real love between two people who realise that they love each other but either don't have enough in common to share the practical side of love or their love comes at a time when its impossible to turn it into something permanent or maybe they are geographically too far apart - but obvioulsy the best type of love is the one that ends up in commitment ever after (with loads of happy thrown in)